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5 Ways to Stimulate the Economy with Your Tax Refund

Posted By Jim On 04/06/2011 @ 7:06 am In Personal Finance | 13 Comments

Normally, it’s not that exciting when you’re average… unless you’re talking about tax refunds. The average tax refund [3] this year will probably settle in at over three thousand bucks. Three thousand dollars a lot of money, unless you’re Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin [4], and while many personal finance pundits will tell you that you should pay down debt, save for retirement, or bolster your emergency fund… I’m not. Then again, I’m not a personal finance pundit or an expert!

So, if you are looking for a few good ideas for that fat refund check, here they are:

Go on a Vacation

Treat yourself. It’s been a rough few years and nothing beats going on an all inclusive vacation somewhere warm. All inclusive vacations are great because you pay one set price and then everything else is taken care of for you. If sitting on the beach isn’t your thing, consider going on a cruise. You can find a lot of stunning cruise deals if you’re spending three thousand dollars. I recommend going to all the deal sites, like Travelocity and Expedia, and comparing the different shipboard credit offers they’re giving out. I’d also scour Travelzoo for good deals, you never know when a last minute offer is going to come cheap. Cabins on a cruise are like hotel rooms, they’re an expiring commodity and go on deep discount in a pinch.

Buy A New Television

If you haven’t purchased a television in the last five years, you probably need a new one, right? Fortunately, television prices have come down dramatically as competition as increased and technology has improved. You can find a 55″ Samsung 1080p LED-LCD HDTV for only $2200 plus tax. If you were to look for that TV a few years ago, it’d be several times that price. Prefer plasma? Samsung has a 59″ 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV for just $2070. Televisions are cheap now and your “average” refund check would easily cover it.

Downpayment for a New Car

Is your car on its last legs? You can do something that’s both fun and financially savvy by looking at new cars. (By new car I just mean “new to you” cars, they don’t have to be brand new) Three thousand dollars will go a long way in reducing the monthly payments on a new or used car loan, why not take a few test drives to see if any catch your eye. You may also find yourself the beneficiary of test drive offers, like free gift cards and other goodies. Getting a new and more reliable car will mean less hassle and headaches for you.

Visit the Spa

No one says you have to spend the entire three thousand in one place, why not treat yourself to the spa? While I know little about the the menus of spas, I do know that a fraction of that three thousand will probably get you enough luxury and pampering to help you through the rest of the chilly winter. You can do the responsible thing and pay down some debt or save for an emergency fund, just leave a little extra for yourself and some aromatherapy.

A Nice Meal

If you’re responsible side won’t let you splurge, why not just treat yourself to a night on the town or to a nice meal at a fancy restaurant? It probably won’t cost as much as the full treatment at the spa but it’ll rejuvenate you all the same. It’s great that you’re responsible with money and that you want to do the right thing, but sometimes it’s good to treat yourself and to indulge a little. It’s good for morale and ultimately good for you.

What fun plans do you have for your tax refund?

(Photo: xtrex [5], autowitch [6], quinet [7], johnguild [8], moriza [9])


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/5-ways-stimulate-economy-tax-refund.html

[3] average tax refund: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/average-tax-refund.html

[4] Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/gopers-demand-sean-duffy-salary-tape-be-pulled-from-the-internet.php

[5] xtrex: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtrex/3376734784/sizes/m/

[6] autowitch: http://www.flickr.com/photos/autowitch/4272852/sizes/m/

[7] quinet: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinet/48210215/sizes/l/

[8] johnguild: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnguild/2531676714/sizes/m/

[9] moriza: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moriza/52096689/sizes/m/

Thank you for reading!